From The Straits Times    |


59 Eng Hoon Street, 01-79

What: Bloesem is a multi-label store with a focus on independent international labels.

Launched in February, the roughly 750 sq ft store is run by the same people behind the interior design blog of the same name.

The majority of the labels featured are from Scandinavia and the Netherlands. The store offers a slew of interior design goods, in addition to design-centric beauty supplies and fashion accessories.

Why: A hidden gem of a store, the Bloesem shop is all about Scandi-chic.

Its quirky offerings reinforce the idea that simple does not mean boring and the cosy shop has a welcoming vibe.

At its nearby studio under Bloesem Classes, the store also offers craft workshops and seminars – from calligraphy to shibori, a type of Japanese cloth-dyeing.


1. Babe body souffle in punk rose


This thick body moisturiser has a great rose scent and comes packaged with adorable floral illustrations.

2. Studio MHL scissors necklace


Talk about whimsy. These tiny gold-plated sterling silver scissors come strung on a delicate string chain.

3. Skandinavisk Hav candle


Light these candles, take a deep breath and get whisked away to Scandinavia’s coastlines with its salty sea air.

4. Keecie bird and house keychain

$12.50 each

Do away with your boring fobs and get these sweet bird and house leather key chains, which come in colourful shades.

5. Tattly temporary tattoos party set


Get inked without the commitment, with these temporary tattoos. They are similar to toddler scribbles, but infinitely cuter.


111 Middle Road, 01-05 National Design Centre

What: Multi-label store Kapok, which originated in Hong Kong, first opened its doors in Singapore in April as a pop-up store, then launched as a permanent store in July.

The 2,300 sq ft space at the National Design Centre features apparel, furniture, accessories, prints, and lifestyle and home goods from more than 100 local, regional and overseas brands. Labels available include Ami, Ron Dorff, London Undercover, Crashed Baggage, Portovelo, Veja, Rains, and Lines Lab.

Why: Kapok carries a wide selection of cool goods, tied together by fun or unusual designs. It boasts an interesting local selection, effortlessly mixed in with other cult brands. The airy space, which now also features a Cafe Kapok, adds to the hipster charm.


1. Marie Turnor lunch bag clutch in red


A brown paperbag gets the luxe treatment with this red leather clutch, which is a great conversation starter.

2. The Little Drom Store pin


This Stylo Milo pin is the perfect gift for a local fashionista in your life. It is small but packs a fun punch.

3. Stale & Co bangle


This brass cuff with spherical ends is simple yet stylish. It exudes minimalist chic on its own and loads of fun in a stack.

4. Simple People x Kapok Lady Gaga mug


The mug features some of Lady Gaga’s many famous costumes, depicted in Lego-like blocks.

5. Code Deco sampler set


This local perfume brand’s sampler set lets you try some of its floral and sporty scents.


01-22 The Cathay, 2 Handy Road

What: Opened in May, multi-label shop The Assembly Store was launched by the people behind local menswear brand Benjamin Barker.

The 4,000 sq ft space carries apparel, accessories, furniture and grooming products mostly for men. However, there are also unisex items and goods for women. More than 30 brands are represented and they include For Richer Or Poorer, Dr Denim, Triwa, Le Specs, Out of Print, Hypergrand, Bellroy, Brooks, Fabrix, Headline Seoul and Palladium.

Why: The spacious store, with its exposed brick walls and high ceilings, feels like the man cave of your most dapper gentleman friend.

The lifestyle goods, including magazines and bicycles, along with The Assembly Ground cafe next door, give it a cool, community feel.


1. Benjamin Barker vintage cotton tie in blue camouflage


The camouflage print gives this conservative work piece a subversive yet chic twist.

2. Modern Pirate superior hair pomade


Who says grooming products have to be boring?

This strong-hold hair gel comes from the cheeky Modern Pirate brand.

3. Fabrix folder case in sneaker pattern


This soft laptop case can double as a funky clutch, with its bright colours and hand-drawn illustration.

4. Hypergrand watch in rubicon


A simple watch face gets jazzed up with a geometric-print watch strap. Interchangeable band options (not included) are an added bonus.

5. Brooks England picadilly rucksack in olive green


Backpacks are not just for students any more. These streamlined leather versions are a sophisticated adult take on the trend.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on November 21, 2014. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.